If you need root access but don’t want to any more than a shared hosting account price then check out burst.net. I have found them to be reliable and fast with reasonable support.
UPDATE: Now till end of Augest get %10 off any Linux or Windows VPS in any location. Use promotion code “summer10”. Check their twitter feed for more promotions. So instead of $5.95/Month you can get a 512MB VPS for $5.36/Month and this rate is not limited to the first 3 months or 6 months it is used as long as you keep the product.
I was in the market for a VPS and found one that was only a few more dollars than I was currently paying for my shared hosting account with full root access and all the other frills of owning a VPS. I needed root access to setup the Nethack game portal I was making and I needed enough ram to run Ruby on Rails. There’s lots of companies offering a VPS for under $10 these days but burst.net had good reviews with no complaints except from spammers complaining about getting suspended. I started out with they cheapest option of 512 MB RAM and 20 GB of space for $5.95 / month and latter upgraded to 1.5 GB of ram and 100 GB of space for $19.95 / month.
Performance is obviously not has good as any dedicated machine would be but is just as good as any shared hosting account. I ran phpspeed which is a nice quick MySQL/PHP server benchmark on the VPS right after it was setup. The score I got was about 25% higher than when I ran the same test on my existing shared hosting provider. I’ve clocked the bandwidth I’m currently getting at 7 MBps with a simple process of downloading a large file from burst.net to a dedicated host I have access to.
Uptime has been pretty good. Over the past year and a half there have been a few power failures resulting about 8 hours of downtime. A couple of times I’ve been migrated to a new node with just a few minutes of downtime. So it’s very good for a host at this price. Support requests have been handled in a timely manor usually just a few hours. They were very knowledgeable too especially with usually problems like when I was using too much Disk I/O running Squid Cache Proxy software.
There other products are very reasonably priced with dedicated hosting starting less than $50. So unless you need absolute 100% uptime and support that will hold your hand and set everything up for you I highly recommend burst.net